Claremont, Calif. (May 21, 2020)—Pitzer and Pomona Colleges name Miriam Merrill as the new director of Pomona-Pitzer Athletics. She starts July 1.
Merrill currently serves as the associate director of athletics at Hamilton College in Clinton, New York, and she also served as interim director of Hamilton’s NCAA Division III program for four months in 2019.
In addition to her role as the Sagehens athletics director, Merrill also will be professor and chair of the Department of Physical Education at Pomona College, overseeing the joint athletic department’s activity classes, faculty/staff fitness and wellness program, intramural/club sport and recreation programs and academic offerings.
She brings broad experience in athletics and academia to Claremont. Merrill earned a PhD in psychology at Temple University, and previously has served as an athletics director at Richard J. Daley College, a Chicago community college, and as head coach of women’s track and field at Robert Morris University. As an athlete, she was an NCAA Division I All-American in track and field for the University of Cincinnati and was inducted into the university’s Athletics Hall of Fame in 2012.
Merrill’s work frequently focused on themes of student wellness, in addition to diversity of opportunity in athletics for women and people of color. At Hamilton, she taught a physical education course called Mental Health Support Skills and Strategies.
She will arrive at Pomona-Pitzer as colleges and athletic teams navigate the challenges of returning in the aftermath of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, which caused the cancellation of competition across the country this spring.
In addition, she’ll be leading Pomona-Pitzer during the period of final fundraising and eventual construction of the new Center for Athletics, Recreation and Wellness, which will replace the Rains Center. She’ll also manage the department’s transition during construction, which is expected to take 18 months once it begins (after being delayed because of the pandemic).
For more than a year, Jen Scanlon, Pomona-Pitzer’s women’s soccer coach, served as interim athletics director. During this period, the Sagehen men’s cross-country team won its first NCAA Division III national championship and Scanlon’s team reached the Final Four of the NCAA Division III women’s soccer tournament for the first time.